Monthly Archives: August 2017

Whalers’ Regal Victory

Whalers CC vs Prince’s Head CC; King’s House Sports Ground: 19th August

A fine team effort saw the Whalers breeze their way to a well deserved victory against the visiting Prince’s Head team. A 35 over-a-side contest of 9 vs 9 to round off the August fixtures, in the end the game was won at a confident stroll which somewhat belied any simmering concerns the uncertain start to batting had aroused.

Indeed, even before a ball had been bowled some uncertainty was felt in the Whaler ranks on account of some ‘laidback’ timekeeping. Russell rolling up a couple of minutes after the game had been due to begin was cast instantly into a distant memory by the news that Tariq was at that moment…somewhere in London. Evidently some error on the communications front had led to no one actually telling Tariq when and where the game was. Most of the team came to the conclusion that this was probably the fault of the absent Channa, though this match reporter has not had time to test the veracity of this claim at the time of going to press. No matter, as Whalers batted first and Tariq could join the line up whenever he arrived. Each side agreed to lend a man to the opposition so that there were 10 in the field.

Pip and Dan opened the batting and soon found that the brisk cross-wind surging across the King’s House ground could turn the honest medium paced deliveries of Prince’s Head into virtually unplayable swingers. Dan’s early demise brought Luke to the crease, who would find himself operating as the rock at the centre of the Whalers innings, albeit one that provided a chance or two to the opposition along the way. Pip skipped to 17 before a very full ball rearranged his stumps and saw him replaced by Mark. Mark startled the opposing side with an on-side drive so sweetly struck that the nearby geese did well to restrain themselves from applauding before promptly startling his own side by leaving a delivery that the wind took from a trajectory aimed somewhere near Barnes Bridge to an inch or two outside leg stump. 14 wides in the innings attested to the wind’s capacity to toy with judgement. Luke’s partners came and went at a jaunty pace until Jiff joined him for a nerve settling 5th wicket partnership of 59.

Jiff hit some hefty boundaries, including a couple of 6s, before departing for 35 and Luke followed a short while after for the high score of 44, having fallen as another victim to the prolific Whaler-catcher Josh, who was fielding for the opposition at the time. By this time Tariq had fought his way across town in traffic, parked up and padded up so that he had a minute or two spare before coming in as 8th man. A sprightly 26no saw him through to the end of the innings alongside Russell (8no) and assured a healthy total of 171.

The opposition started their reply after the break and Whalers found themselves battling to control their bowling line with that cross-wind. Dan and Matt opened the bowling, with the latter taking first blood. Jiff decided that was more than enough success for Matt and promptly removed him from the attack, though not before Pip had run out the Prince’s Head no3. Dan would continue his good run of bowling performances by completing 7 overs with 3 wickets for 19; while at the other end Russell bowled tightly and was duly rewarded with his first scalp for the Whalers, ending with 2 wickets for 19 from 7. Some amusement was had from Dan, Jiff and Mark charging toward a ball in the field only for the three of them to engage in some sort of spaghetti western-style stand off when they all converged at the same spot. Imagine a sort of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, only one where no one wants to claim responsibility for a cricket ball and the film rights remain unclaimed.

Josh claimed the final wicket with his off-spin with 14 overs to spare, stranding the Prince’s Head opener on 24no. The second highest scorer was wides on 11 (did I mention there was a breeze?) and Whalers won by 106 runs.


Man of the Match: Luke (retained even after proving unable to recognise his own towel in the showers)

Muppet moment: The Convergence

Champagne moment: Russell’s first whalers wicket


Whalers Out of Energy vs Exiles

Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles CC; King’s House Sports Ground; 13 August 2017

The Whalers put up a brave fight at Kings House against Energy Exiles in a see-saw game, but were ultimately beaten by the better side on the day. Only having 9 men didn’t help, although credit the Exiles for lending us a fielder throughout.

Bowling first, Matt and Dennis opened up well, getting lots of movement through the air, and their opener was soon castled by a jaffa from Matt which swung back through the gate to hit middle. Unfortunately, this brought their number 3 to the crease, who set about the bowling with some destructive hitting – including three sixes in one over, earning the unlucky bowler a “devil” fine. In no time he had raced to his 50 and things were looking bleak, before he missed a slow long-hop from Dennis and was triggered LBW, to a collective sigh of relief.

The other opener went the same way (but to a better ball), and tight bowling from Pip and Kamal pegged the scoring rate back. Two more quick wickets followed – one with some not-very-champagne cricket (another long hop, slapped to Andrew at point who took the catch) and the second the day’s champagne moment (a smart slip catch off Kamal by Matt), and at 112-5 the game could have gone either way. However, despite two more wickets for Dan including a sharp caught-and-bowled, the Exiles batted sensibly to see through the overs, held together by their number 4 who finished on 74*. Their final score of 204-7 was probably about 20-30 runs above par, but the talk at tea was the usual “if we bat the 35 overs we’ll be competitive”.

In reply, the Exiles bowling was tight and scoring was slow at first, with Andrew caught early in the gully. Dario and Channa got things moving with some hard-run 3s which had Channa gasping for water, until he worked out it was easier to hit boundaries instead. But just as we were starting to get back into it, they were both out and Luke followed shortly afterwards. The game then swung back again with an excellent partnership between Matt and Pip, which kept us just about in touch with the run-rate to the delight of the capacity crowd (Mr English senior + company).

Needing 60 off the last 6 overs, Matt was out and the end then came quickly. After 13 overs bowling and 35 overs keeping wicket between them, Dennis and Dan contributed a grand total of two minutes and 1 run with the bat. And so the only question was whether last man Kamal could see Pip through to a well-deserved 50 – but sadly this was not to be, leaving Pip on 49*. The Whalers had lost by 38 runs.

Ultimately it was a great team effort to keep it competitive for so long, but the Exiles were better than us on the day, and the lack of players didn’t help us particularly in the field.

Champagne moment was Matt’s sharp slip catch, with an honourable mention for Dan’s self-protecting caught-and-bowled.
Muppet moment went to Kamal for a misfiring throw in from the boundary, with an honourable mention for Channa’s fielding antics.
Man of the match was clearly Pip.

Nice Weather for Whales

Whalers CC Vs Lambeth Sports and Social Club (T20)

Whalers 139/6 (20) lost to Lambeth 140/4 (18.1) by 6 wickets

King’s House Sat 29th July 2017



As an Australian captain in England it is easy to make a bad decision that will haunt you for the rest of your days (Edgbaston 2005), good ones will typically just be forgotten. It was therefore even more apposite that as captain for this clash Jiff suggested and arranged with the opposition that we would play a T20 before the predicted downpours arrived, have tea and if possible then play another.

The last 20 minutes of the first game was played in heavy rain that had the test players further down river at the Oval scampering for cover but Whalers are made of stern stuff (and used to getting wet) so we continued to a finish. It was obvious that it wouldn’t be possible to play after tea and we had done very well to get a game in at all. That said we did lose comfortably so perhaps a rain enforced draw would have been kinder to the season stats.

It had all started so well, under leaden but dry skies the initial Lambeth bowling was innocuous enough and helped by several wides the score moved along as Dean played himself in and Pip (29) watched from the other end. The scoring was not as fast as those observing from the side-lines would have recommended but as is so often the case it was when those advisors  got to have a go themselves that the wheels fell off the innings. The opening pair put on 77 from the first half of the overs which was an excellent start, Dean hit some big 6s before he fell for 44 as better bowling came into the attack. Next in, Rich was down from Yorkshire but commitment exceeded achievement on this occasion as he fell for 1 (2017 season; 3 games, 2500 miles travelled, 1 run) bowled by a straight one. Josh was looking composed but left for 8 which brought Channa and Ed together who had some fun and hit some long balls all the while flirting with danger in front of the stumps (ask for middle, stand on an imaginary 6th off stump, start swinging as the bowler begins run up, copyright Karuneratna) . Channa hit a flat bat straight six but neither of them could make it past 13 runs. Then some solid blows from Mildon 8* and some very committed running from Terry 1* on debut brought the innings to a close with 139 on the board.


Defending 140 10 years ago in a T20 would have been considered very achievable but since most of us were at least 10 years older than the friendly Lambeth side we feared their modern approach might make it difficult though we were certainly in it. The rain had started gently by now and the wet ball didn’t help things. Paul M and Dan opened the bowling and in the spirit of fairness began returning all the wides we had been gifted. Dan got the first wicket as Terry took a catch he had a while to think about at mid on, the other opener was looking good though and Kamal came on to try to dislodge him. It was one of those rare occasions where The Colonel didn’t strike as he was taken for 28 from his 4 overs. In the end the Lambeth opener retired for 50 and that gave us an end to bowl at at least. Jiff picked up a wicket to finish with 1-31 and Rich took another for 1-11 from 2 overs including a 2 that became 6 thanks to overthrows. Dan came back into the attack and got another wicket 2-30 but we were never really in with much chance of forcing victory, the run rate was good enough that we would have had to bowl them out and hadn’t taken enough. Ed was brought on when all hope was gone and having cleverly thought they wouldn’t want to win it with a wide bowled a very “legside” line only for the second ball of his second over to be called and the match was over. Lambeth had won reasonably comfortably by 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare.

Despite the sting of the defeat no one was really too disappointed to be coming off the field as the rain was now falling heavily. We made the most of the extra time to buy a couple of jugs and some even carried on in Barnes into the evening. Ed made friends with the opposition and trying to prove he was still young enough to be one of them joined in with a boat race (won). Im sure we would have beaten them in the second match but the rain wasn’t going to allow that, we were lucky to have got a game in at all.


Man of the Match: Dean for his runs

Muppet moment: Whole team for conceeding 6 thanks to overthrows to a push through mid-on

Champagne Moment: Dan direct hit run out from deep square leg